20 eLearning Terms

E-learning is a powerful tool that can be used to train employees. It’s also an effective way to distribute knowledge and information. And it can be a great way for students to learn at their own pace in the comfort of their homes or dorms (especially if they live somewhere where there are no colleges nearby). E-learning has been around since the early days of computers, but now there are many new technologies for delivering e-learning. Let’s take a look at common terms that you should know when working with eLearning:

  • Learning Management System: A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software solution that helps people manage the learning process, from design to completion. A LSS includes course authoring tools and administration functionality like tracking enrollment progress or assigning content-specific roles within courses. You can also think of an LMS as a set of two distinct pieces: one piece manages user access while another stores data about individual learners.
  • Learning Record Store: As opposed to just storing scores for each student in your system, a Learning Record Store (LRS) also stores metadata on what assessments were taken, when they were completed, how long it took for them to complete the assessment etc all things you might find useful later down the line. It’s not uncommon for schools with large populations where grades are only given once a semester to use Learning Record Stores instead of traditional grading.
  • Learning Locker: A learning locker is a service that allows learners to store their work for later review, making it easy and convenient. It’s an evolving concept in the field of education and training but some companies have already released solutions that include tutorial videos, interactive presentations or sample code snippets for students to learn from.
  • Learning Data: Learning data is a term used to describe the information that gets collected about students as they progress through an online course. Learning Data includes things like what a student has completed, how long they took to complete it and what assessments or tests they have taken. Learning Data is usually stored in a learning record store which can be queried for data at any point.
  • Learning Analytics: these are the insights that you get from analyzing your student’s performance against their objectives. Typical analytics include things like completion rates, time on task and rates of engagement.
  • Application Programming Interface (API): An API lets two pieces of software talk to each other without having to worry about the underlying details of coding different languages together. APIs exist as a way for programmers who might not know much about elearning technologies but want some content made available through an application programming interface.
  • Social Learning: Social Learning is where learners contribute back into communities by sharing their work and helping other learners. An example of Social Learning might be a student who posts a video to YouTube about how they solved an exercise in the course, or shares code snippets on GitHub.
  • Synchronous Learning: synchronous is when two individuals engage with one another at the same time through text chat, voice chat or some kind of teleconferencing.
  • Asynchronous Learning: asynchronic learning is where learners are not connected to each other but rather access content according to their own schedules. It’s most commonly used for knowledge-driven courses because it allows students more flexibility in how often they can do assignments without slowing down progress.
  • Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): A MOOC typically refers to eLearning that takes place online from a single instructor and a classroom of learners. MOOCs can be on any topic.
  • Gamification: Gamification is when you take an activity or task that would otherwise seem like drudgery and present it in the form of games, puzzles or contests to entice people into participating more energetically.
  • Curation: Curation refers to curating content such as videos, presentations etc for other peoples’ use. Curated materials are generally tailored specifically for a certain group which means they’ll usually have more relevance than if someone were just randomly finding them online.
  • Authoring Tool: Authoring tools allow designers to create interactive eLearning courses without having extensive knowledge about programming languages. These will typically produce HTML files with media embedded within so that they can be accessed easily online.
  • Blended Learning: Blended learning is when you have a combination of self-paced and instructor led content, both onsite or remotely.
  • Micro Learning: Microlearning has grown out of the increased focus on mobile devices as well as learners with short attention spans who prefer bite sized pieces of information rather than lengthy lectures. It’s typically used for training in skills that are best learned through repetition such as how to use an interface or specific processes within applications.
  • ePortfolio: An eportfolio is where someone collects all their work over time into one place so that others can view it more effectively at a glance because it’ll be there regardless if other projects end up being deleted from websites like Flickr or YouTube.
  • Open Badges: Open badges are usually digital certificates that can be earned for various skills and verified by an issuer like a college, university or other institution of learning.
  • Open Source Software: open-source software is where the source code to the program is made available as well as any accompanying materials so that others can use it, adapt it and share their changes with others under certain conditions. The condition typically being attribution which means crediting those who contributed back into the system in some way such as giving credit on social media posts when they share something created with free resources online.
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): SaaS refers to more general applications used within organizations without having dedicated IT departments that can handle the software. It’s usually cheaper than buying a specific license and maintains flexibility for employees to work on different devices, as long as they’re within their organization’s network access policies.

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